Sophia Kruszewski leads the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s work on food safety, and has put a ton of time and effort into the FDA’s new rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The final version of the produce rule was just rolled out by the FDA, so we take the time to dig into who and what is covered under the rule, how the exemptions work, and the highlights of the major provisions of the rules – including some of the important victories we achieved in the proposal and revision process, and where work remains to be done. Sophia does a great job of putting the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Rule in context, especially where we’re at and what happens between now and the point when non-exempt farms have to come into compliance.
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Quotes from the Show
If you sell less than $25,000 of produce per year, you aren’t held to these specific standards, but you are still held to general requirements that you not put adulterated food into the food supply. You first ask the question, does this rule even apply to me… and then you can start thinking about, what do I need to do?
If you’re going to claim the qualified exemption, if you think that you’ve satisfied the qualification of how much you’re selling and who you’re selling it to, you do have to keep records that justify your status as a qualified exempt farm…. your status is based on a three-year average of your sales.
At this stage, we don’t have a very clear picture of what compliance is going to look like on the ground.
There are some general guidelines for how to keep your records, but there is that room for creativity and interpretation.
Don’t panic. There is time to figure out exactly what these rules mean and there are a lot of folks at work trying to get that information out there in a way that’s clear and make sense.
Sign up for updates on the FSMA rule and other things on the Nationals Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) home page.
NSAC’s blog has a wealth of information about all sorts of sustainable agriculture issues; the posts about FSMA are gathered under the Food Safety label.
If you’ve got questions about food safety and the Food Safety Modernization Act produce rule, please feel free to contact me and I will do my best to get you answers and address your questions through my newsletter and podcast.